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Chairman McGovern Urges Passage of Sweeping Policing Reforms to Address Systemic Racism and Help Save Lives

Chairman McGovern Urges Passage of Sweeping Policing Reforms to Address Systemic Racism and Help Save Lives

Unprecedented reforms include banning chokeholds, stopping no-knock warrants, combating racial profiling, and mandating data collection

**Video of his remarks is available here**

WASHINGTON, DC — On the House Floor today, Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) urged passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to transform the culture of policing to address systemic racism and help save lives. The bill contains unprecedented reforms that would ban chokeholds, stop no-knock warrants, end the qualified immunity doctrine that is a barrier to holding police officers accountable for wrongful conduct, combat racial profiling, mandate data collection including body cameras and dashboard cameras, and establish new standards for policing.

Excerpts from Chairman McGovern’s remarks are below, video of his full remarks is available here:

  • “Americans of all backgrounds have been taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers with a single refrain: Black lives matter. People are demanding an end to police brutality. Not encouraging an end to it, not recommending an end to it, but finally demanding an end to it once and for all.”
  • “That’s what H.R. 7120 is all about – fixing the broken status quo that has allowed racial injustice and police brutality to continue year after year after year. It’s about damn time.”
  • “I would never presume to know what it’s like to be black in America today. But I have seen injustice in my own state. I have held grieving community members. I have marched with those calling for change. I have heard their pain. True allies do more than listen, M. Speaker – they take action.”
  • “No one is suggesting that all police officers are racist or break the law. But the sad reality is that if you’re Black in America today, you are three times more likely to be killed by police compared to a white person. Yet, it is the exception, not the norm, when officers who commit a crime are brought to justice.  There are systemic problems here that require systematic solutions.”
  • “Now, I am not naive, M. Speaker. This bill alone will not end racism in America. We have so many issues that must be addressed for that to happen. So many communities in Black America aren’t even getting the investments they need today. But this bill is an important step forward. I encourage all my colleagues to listen to the voices of those demanding change right now.”
  • “That is what we were sent here to do, Mr. Speaker. Act on behalf of the people we represent. While our constitution begins with those words, ‘We, the People,’ that didn’t include all the people when those words were written. It included people who looked like me.”
  • “But by expanding the reach of our democracy and working towards a more just and fair country for everyone, we have gotten one step closer to achieving the promise of America for all people. That is what this bill is about.”

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